How to Deal with Criminal Protective Orders in Domestic Violence Cases

February 23rd, 2017 by Attorney Dan Carman

Lexington Criminal Defense Lawyer
In a domestic violence case, there are a few types of protective orders that may be granted while the case is ongoing. The process can be intimidating if you do not understand what order was granted or why. It is vital that, throughout your case, you comply with the order and that you show up whenever you are due in court.


What type of order is this and what does it mean?

There are several kinds of protective orders that may be issued in the wake of a domestic violence case. Orders can include Emergency Protective Orders (EPOs), Interpersonal Protective Orders (IPOs) and Domestic Violence Protective Orders (DVOs).

An EPO (or Temporary Interpersonal Protective Order, TIPO) is granted on an emergency basis when it has been shown that there has been an act of violence or abuse. It is valid only for a 14-day term, but may be renewed for another 14 days. After that, an evidentiary hearing must be held to determine the validity of the complaints in the case. An EPO may be issued after a judge has heard from only one side. There is no legal requirement to notify someone that an EPO is being sought against them.

A Domestic Violence Order may be issued if there is evidence of a past act of violence or abuse and it is likely that the victim is in danger of violence or abuse happening again. When a DVO is being considered, both parties must be notified so that they can show up in court to tell their side of the story. It can be helpful to seek legal counsel for a DVO hearing if there are charges pending. This is an opportunity for a criminal lawyer to cross-examine the other party before trial. A DVO can be effective for up to three years; at the end of this time, it can be reissued repeatedly with no limit. Either person involved can ask for a DVO to be amended or for it to be dismissed altogether.

Interpersonal Protective Orders are granted in cases of violence, abuse, sexual assault or stalking that involves individuals who are not related and who do not live with one another. They are otherwise similar to the orders described above.

The requirements of a protective order are governed by the Judge. The respondent may be ordered to do a number of things, including:

  • Leave their residence.
  • Keep a certain distance (e.g. 500 feet) away from the other party and their children.
  • Pay child support.
  • Avoid certain places, such as the other party’s place of work, residence or school.
  • Refrain from disposing of or damaging the other party’s possessions.
  • Attend domestic violence counseling.

Additionally, federal law forbids the respondent from possessing firearms indefinitely once a DVO or EPO has been issued.

What can happen if you do not comply with a protective order?

After a person has been served with an EPO or DVO they can be charged with contempt or a class A misdemeanor if they violate the order. Contempt is punishable by up to six months in jail. Additionally, the respondent may be charged with a class A misdemeanor if he or she deliberately violates the order. This carries a penalty of up to 12 months in jail.

If there is a protective order against you, it is imperative that you comply with it to preserve your rights. You will have your chance to oppose the order in court. Contact one of our attorneys at the Lexington, KY based Carman Law Firm to learn more about protecting your rights and assuring the best potential outcome of your legal proceedings.  As Lexington criminal defense lawyer with years of experience, we offer thorough, skilled representation.  Call today at (859) 685-1055 or fill out this convenient online form for a free initial consultation.


Attorney Dan Carman

Attorney Dan CarmanFocusing on criminal matters, Mr. Carman is admitted to practice law in all Courts of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, and the United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit. He is a member of the American, Kentucky, and Fayette County Bar Associations. Mr. Carman also worked as a prosecutor, as well as a legal assistance attorney. Attorney Dan Carman can help you with any criminal defense matters you may need including; DUI, drug, and weapons charges, trespassing, traffic violations and more. [ Attorney Bio ]